Colonel George Trofimoff was convicted of spying for the KGB in a Tampa federal court in 2001. He was 74 at the time of his conviction and was the highest ranking U.S. military personnel ever convicted of spying.
In 1917, the Communist Bolsheviks assassinated his grandparents,who were of the Czarist nobility. His grandfather was a colonel in the Imperial Guards Regiment. His father, also an officer in the Imperial Guards escaped to Berlin where George Trofimoff was born. Had the Bolsheviks not succeeded in their revolution, young George would have grown up in elite nobility and, no doubt, become a guard of the Czar and his family, following the career path of his father and grandfather.
George hated the communists for the assassination of his grandparents and for driving his father from Mother Russia. He exhibited this hatred throughout his life. As a young emigre to Paris, immediately after the end of WWII, George lived in a Russian ex-pat community. That community, however, was divided into two groups seriously opposed to each other. George Trofimoff was of the “Royalist” group who opposed the communists. The other group, the “Soviet Patriots”, were people who wanted to return to the new Soviet Republic and had been promised by the Russian Embassy in Paris that they could return and become honored and productive members of the Soviet proletariat.
The Soviet Embassy planned a Workers’ International Labor Day celebration on May 1, 1946, for the “Soviet Patriots” in the Russian emigre enclave of Paris. George and the “Royalists” saw this as a subterfuge for communist enlistment. He and his friends showed up at the celebration and began to speak out about how their families were slaughtered during the revolution in 1917-1920 and about the atrocities committed against the “liberated” countries in East Europe. The Embassy guards began forcing them out of the ballroom where the celebration was occurring. On the way out, the young “Royalists” overturned the buffet with the food and drinks, climbed chairs and tore down the huge portraits of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin from the wall and threw them on the floor.
I write of George’s life and his hatred of the Soviets in my book: “Observer: The Colonel George Trofimoff Story, the tale of America’s highest ranking military officer convicted of spying”